Bloody Margarita is the perfect Halloween cocktail, it’s dark red and is drunk with black lava salt, giving your margarita an earthy, salty and tangy flavour.
You have no idea how much juvenile fun I have every time I talk about this particular margarita, or Bloody Margarita, I should say.
I hate to admit it, but bloody is one of my favourite adjectives, has been for as long as I can remember! It encompasses so many degrees of characterisation, that it’s a catch-all word for me. But not when there are kids present, of course! Unfortunately, as my 4 kids are homeschooled, that’s like, all the time!
So, this Bloody Margarita was not only super delicious but extremely emancipating in so many ways!
I got to swear without any pain of punishment!
In my previous cocktail recipe, the spooky looking Witch’s Brew, I mentioned something about last Halloween, a client and a rejected blackberry syrup.
That blackberry syrup is what led to the making of today’s cocktail. It really is amazing how blackberry syrup looks so much like blood! Maybe it’s because having recently introduced my kids to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, we’ve spent the last few months catching up on all the episodes, and I have blood on my mind!
As soon as I’d made the blackberry syrup last year, I knew immediately that it was something I should be using in a Halloween cocktail, given its colour and viscosity.
Blackberries have a pretty high pectin level, resulting in a thick and dense syrup, which gets even thicker as it gets colder in the fridge.
Ingredients in the Bloody Margarita
I love Margarita! At last count, I believe I have 4 ! margarita recipes on LinsFood (see images above), and this Bloody Margarita makes
5! 7 now! It’s funny how sometimes, I start with a name, then come up with the recipe. That’s exactly what happened here. I started with the word bloody, then thought that it would be interesting coming up with a new margarita, and that was that.
This was our starting point. The amount of syrup we make here is very generous, you’ll have just under 1 cup of syrup. Use what you need and keep the rest in the fridge for up to a week, and use it in cordials, on ice cream and over pancakes. Basically, treat it like jam or honey. Or you could always halve the syrup recipe.
The syrup is fairly sweet, but not overly so. It also does depend on how tart your blackberries were, to begin with. I like my drinks, and certainly my margaritas, a little on the sweet side. So I add the same amount of blackberry syrup as the lime juice. You can halve the syrup if you like, that’s up to you.
Note: the blackberry syrup wants to be made hours ahead or even day/s ahead and chilled.
To me, a margarita is just not a margarita unless it has tequila in it. That part of the equation is just non negotiable, no matter what else you put in it! So I always cringe at non alcoholic margaritas! But that’s just me being fussy!
What tequila to use? Tequila Blanco is perfect for this; young, fairly inexpensive, strong and full of agave flavour with perhaps hints of citrus and apple. Tequila Blanco is bottled straight after distillation and is perfect for mixing (although my favourite for mixing is the reposado).
For many people, Aperol, the Italian orange coloured liqueur, is synonymous with summer time. But here on LinsFood, we do like to go against the grain, and I decided to try it in this autumnal drink. I think it works rather well, the colour orange helps to maintain the final red colour. Aperol is a little similar to Campari but not as bitter. It also has less than half the alcohol content of Campari. It is made of bitter oranges and a secret blend of herbs and aromatics.
The first time I made it, I left the lime juice out. But just like the Tomatillo and Jalapeño Margarita, the lime juice just completed the puzzle, as if bringing all the flavours and aromas together into a seamless whole. This just reaffirms my believe that lime juice makes everything better – whether it’s in cocktails or noodles!
Black Lava Salt
Black Lava Salt is a dark inky colour when in granules which turns a little grey when in powdered form. It is salt that has been infused with activated charcoal and made in Hawaii, and to a lesser extent, Cyprus. It is apparently good for you, helping your body get rid of toxins, and is great sprinkled on just about everything!
Rather than dye some salt or sugar black, I chose the black lava salt option. You can do whatever you like here, leave the salt rim out if you like, it’s a matter of preference. But I definitely think salt, and not sugar rim with our Bloody Margarita.
What does our Bloody Margarita taste like?
As you lift the glass, you get definite hits of citrus and something sharp. The first taste to hit you as you take a sip, is that of the tequila, there’s no getting away from that, and to me, that’s a good thing; the mark of a good margarita.
Then, as you savour that first sip, there is sweet and sour from the syrup, the latter also from the tequila I am using. And right at the back of it all, the Aperol calls out to you with its unmistakeable flavour of bitter orange. You’ll immediately reach out for a second sip, if only to reaffirm that the exquisite assault on your senses was not imagined, that the experience is indeed within your reach all over again.
Are you feeling it? I am! This Bloody Margarita has become one of my favourite drinks, I love that I now have a margarita just for autumn! It’s a great way to use up the aperol too!
Make it early and place it in the fridge. Not only will the flavours develop and work together, the drink will thicken ever so slightly as well, given the pectin from the blackberry syrup.
And just before you go, you might be interested in our other Halloween cocktail, Witch’s Brew:
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Bloody Margarita with Black Lava Salt | a Halloween Cocktail
- 60 ml (2 fl oz) tequila
- 30 ml (1 fl oz) aperol
- 30 ml (1 fl oz) blackberry syrup (recipe below)
- 30 ml (1 fl oz) lime juice (keep the lime to prep the glass)
- some black lava salt in a saucer or regular, coloured black
- 300 g (10.5 oz) blackberries
- 100 g (½ cup) sugar
- 125 ml (½ cup) water
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
A cocktail shaker would be great, if not, just stir it all up well in a glass/jug.
Blackberry Syrup (needs to be made earlier and chilled)
- Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.
- Lower the heat right down and simmer for 15 minutes, by which time the fruit will be soft and falling apart. Squash the fruit with the back of a spoon or a fork to release more juice.
- Strain into a jug/bowl with a strainer double lined with muslin/cheese cloth. Or strain in twice with a fine sieve. Basically, we want a clear syrup with no bits.
- Place in the fridge to chill.
Let’s make the Bloody Margarita
- Run a lime slice all around the rim of a glass.
- Dip the glass rim into the black lava salt, coating well.
- Place everything into a shaker and shake to mix and chill. Start with 1/2 part blackberry syrup.
- Taste and add more syrup if you like it sweeter. I do.
- Pour into the glass, minus the ice cubes.
- Start sipping!